July 1, 1996 seems like just yesterday...I can't believe how fast the time has flown. Through this journey, I've met so many amazing, inspiring people who have changed my views on living with a disease. I really hate that word, disease...it makes me feel like I should be living in fear all the time. In 15 years of living with Type 1 diabetes, I'm not scared. I have a relatively normal life & I try to not let diabetes get me down. Of course, like anyone, I have bad days, but the good days outnumber them. I hope someday there will be a cure, but until then, all I can do is live my life. Yes I have diabetes, but in a weird way I feel blessed. Blessed to have an amazing family & great friends to help guide me along the way. If nothing else that's positive can come out of these last 15 years, at least diabetes has given me strength, courage, determination, and will. It's made me realize that even with a diagnosis, there are worse things in life. It's made me realize that the world doesn't stop, and without those four qualities, I think circumstances could have been a lot different.
My best friend said it best tonight...I told her that today was my 15 year anniversary and she asked me what I was going to do to celebrate. I hadn't ever thought about celebrating a diagnosis of a disease...but now that I think about it, I think everyone should. Katie then said that it was crazy that I'd had diabetes for that long since we've known each other for a decade. Stopping to think about that really put things in perspective too. She said that even she forgets I have it sometimes...not because I don't talk about it (I'm more than willing to talk about it) but because I manage it and try my best to take care of myself. That means the world to me. I don't want to be treated any differently than anyone else, just because I have diabetes.
Finally, if I had any advice to give to fellow diabetics, whether they're struggling with management or newly diagnosed, I would say don't give up. With all the technology out there, there's so many different options for care. Most importantly, stay up to date, and do what your body says and try to follow doctor's orders. Get a good endocrinologist, and most importantly, have a positive attitude! I know this can be hard, but I believe attitude has a lot to do with how you manage your diabetes!!!!